I have received many questions about the rocky path to publication. In November, I have my 25th Book Published, so I do have some insight into this subject.
Learning how to write at school is very different from what a publisher expects. Join a writing group or an organization to help you improve your craft.
You have written your story, polished every line, and made it the best it can be. Send it to a critique group or at least print and read aloud. When we use a computer, we all suffer from what I call “word blindness”. Our brains assume the words on the screen are correct. In print, these mistakes are easier to notice.
Style guides change between publishing houses, so the first thing to do is to read the submission page of each publisher and follow the requirements to the letter.
Prepare your manuscript to the submission requirements.
Take the time to find the name of the acquiring editor. Write a short and to the point pitch. Trust me acquiring editors are very busy people. They don’t want to know where you went to school and how many kids you have.
Dear Mrs. Blank,
I am seeking publication for . . . ..
Name of book.
Add a two or three line attention hook.
Add writing credits and contact details.
Many readers believe that being published is a given for a published author. The truth is most of us go through the submission process for every story we write.
This is where patience comes in to play. Submissions can take from a few weeks to six months or more. I know waiting makes many authors depressed but the best advice I can give is to keep writing. If you receive a rejection, it is not the end of the world. Not every acquiring agent is going to love your work.
There are many publishers out there so never give up. If an editor is kind enough to give you a reason for rejection, take their advice. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from my editors. So, keep on submitting and never give up.
Get a web site/ blog and promote your book.
If you receive a review, thank the reviewer. 99% of your reviews will be positive because the majority of reviewers are honest people. I value their opinions and have added a few of their awards for my books on this page in recognition.
However, if you don’t agree with a review or someone says, your writing stinks—don’t validate them with a comment. They are entitled to their opinion.
To be honest, I’ve found people who write denigrating reviews usually make disparaging comments about most authors’ books to grandstand. I always think of the judges on some of the T.V contest shows. There always seems to be a judge who insults the acts and abuses his/her power because the victim has no right of reply.
Keep writing and believe in yourself. Work hard and I’ll see you on the Best Seller Lists.
I hope this is of some help.